Criminology, B.A.



(Click major/minor/certificate title to see typical courses for the program)

Criminology is the study of criminal behavior, and how society defines and responds to crime. Criminologists attempt to identify the causes of crime as they occur in society and in individuals. They also study the political and social aspects of defining crime: what is a crime and who is a criminal. Criminologists also examine societal responses to crime, by studying such topics as how the criminal justice system functions, the effectiveness of public policies and programs aimed at controlling crime, the portrayal of crime in the popular culture, and related subjects.

Alternatively, you might want to try the course Principles of Sociology. This Liberal Arts Core course is also the first course required for the criminology major.

In addition to required courses on the criminal justice system, juvenile delinquency, corrections and punishment, and statistics and research methods, students choose from a range of specialized elective courses on such topics as youth gangs, correctional treatment, drug abuse, violence and social inequality. Students also have the opportunity to participate in experiential learning and internships for major credit.

Common minors and second majors pursued

  • Sociology

  • Psychology

  • Political Science

  • Spanish

  • Social Work


Plan of Study

Discover the courses you'll take as a criminology major in the Plan of Study.


The research, critical thinking and communication skills obtained through the study of criminology help prepare students for a variety of opportunities. Many of our graduates may be found pursuing careers in corrections, juvenile justice, law enforcement and private security.

Another option is a career in research and planning with a state or federal agency; these careers may require further (graduate) education. A major in criminology can be excellent preparation for post-graduate study in law, sociology, criminology, criminal justice or public policy. Advanced degrees in these fields open the door to career opportunities in law, public policy, research and teaching.

Unique Features: 
  • Faculty who are committed to teaching and who give students individual attention

  • Opportunities for experiential learning through internships with criminal and juvenile justice agencies

  • College of Social and Behavioral Science support for undergraduate research projects

Scholarships & Awards: 

The John Chase Memorial Scholarship is a partial scholarship awarded to a criminology student in his or her junior or senior year. College of Social and Behavioral Sciences (SBS) Scholarships are available to incoming freshmen in $5000 per year rate on a competitive basis. Applicants must complete a test and interview on campus in the spring semester. Alderman scholarships, approximately $5000, may be awarded to “worthy, needy and appreciative” students by the college.

More information on department scholarships can found at Financial Aid.